Atom City - Los Alamos. June 27, 1949 Life Magazine.

 Exerpt from June 27, 1949 Issue.

Modern Atomic City Grows on Remote, Guarded Mesa

Los Alamos, N. Mex. is one more American manufacturing town, but it has some truly unique features. It is the only place in the world, so far as is generally known, where atomic bombs are manufactured, and has been called the most important city on earth—real progress for a town only six years old, with a population of 9,000. Los Alamos has other distinctions. Possessing the world's finest physics laboratory and with an unusually large percentage of young physicists and technicians, its citizenry probably has the highest average I.Q. of any U.S. city, and the lowest average age: 33. Poised on a remote, canyon-rimmed mesa 7,500 feet high and accessible by only one sternly policed road, it has no crime, no strangers and, because space is limited, no cemetery. Closed to the general public since 1943 when it was taken over by the federal government as the best possible site for the design and assembly of atomic bombs, the poplar-dotted mesa (Los Alamos means “the poplars”) is now building into a carefully planned town that will eventually number about 12,000 people. Life there has certain discomforts but there are also compensations. The climate is clear and sunny, the shopping and residential areas glittering new and, among other things, there is the pleasant impossibility of guests dropping in unexpectedly from the outside.

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